Haiku before haiku : from the Renga masters to Bashō by Steven Carter

By Steven Carter

While the increase of the charmingly uncomplicated, brilliantly evocative haiku is usually linked to the seventeenth-century jap poet Matsuo Basho, the shape had already flourished for greater than 400 years earlier than Basho even started to write. those early poems, referred to as hokku, are similar to haiku in syllable count number and constitution yet functionality in a different way as a style. while each one haiku is its personal constellation of photo and that means, a hokku opens a sequence of associated, collaborative stanzas in a chain known as renga.

Under the mastery of Basho, hokku first received its sleek independence. His abilities contributed to the evolution of the fashion into the haiku cherished via such a lot of poets round the world—Richard Wright, Jack Kerouac, and Billy Collins being extraordinary devotees. Haiku ahead of Haiku provides 320 hokku composed among the 13th and early eighteenth centuries, from the poems of the courtier Nijo Yoshimoto to these of the genre's first "professional" grasp, Sogi, and his disciples. It gains 20 masterpieces by means of Basho himself. Steven D. Carter introduces the heritage of haiku and its aesthetics, classifying those poems based on kind and context. His wealthy remark and notes on composition and surroundings remove darkness from every one paintings, and he presents short biographies of the poets, the unique eastern textual content in romanized shape, and prior, classical poems to which the various hokku allude.

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Extra info for Haiku before haiku : from the Renga masters to Bashō

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Or moonlight forming in the grasses? Reizei Tamesuke 6 Hazy or not, come out of the clouds, spring moon! 7 Frost melts— drenching fallen leaves in sunlight. 22 • [ zenna ] Buddhist monk of the Time sect and early renga master. spring (cherry blossoms) Eda nokoru hana wa oiki no kazashi kana (Tsukubashū 2044) ~Takao: a mountainous area northwest of Kyoto famous for the beauty of its foliage. ~The “old tree” stands for the poet, who represented older conventions of linked verse that were yielding to the new ways of Nijō Yoshimoto (p.

72 Curse the luck! Rushing gets you wetter in a passing shower. 73 Frozen, it seems— Mount Fuji floating in the autumn sea. 74 From bare brush along a mountain path— the sound of frost. 50 • [ shinkei ] summer (cicadas) Yamabiko mo kotae ya aenu semi no koe (Shinkei, Shibakusa kunai hokku 236) ~The drone of the cicadas in the trees is so unrelenting that there is no time for an echo to form. Or maybe so weak? autumn (moon) Nagametsutsu tsuki ni wasururu koyoi kana (Chikurinshō 1739) ~So captivating is the moon that one forgets that the fifteenth is the night of the full moon.

Tenryūji: a major Zen temple in Saga, west of Kyoto. ~An indirect way to encourage the cuckoo to do what it is known for—to sing! autumn (crimson plum leaves) Kurenai o wasurenu ume no momiji kana (Tsukubashū 2124) ~Anrakuji: a temple in Dazaifu, northern Kyūshū, dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane (845–903), who ended his days in exile there. ~Autumn is known for the red of maple leaves, but the leaves of the plum tree—known more for its spring blossoms—also turn red each autumn, showing the kind of constancy associated with the ever-loyal Michizane.

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